2017 Higg FEM Scoring Discrepancies

2017 Higg FEM Scoring Errors


The Sustainable Apparel Coalition consistently strives to create better Higg Index tools and to offer you the best user experience. Through a recent process of review and updates, we discovered several scoring discrepancies in the 2017 Higg Facility Environmental Module (Higg FEM) assessment. These errors do not affect your responses and do not apply to all facilities. They only affect the scoring for certain sections, as outlined below.

These errors are a result of the Higg FEM scores allocated to applicability pathways. Facilities receive scores for questions that apply to their operations; these are then calculated to create a section score, which informs the overall Higg FEM score. Errors in how these scores were calculated for the various pathways may have resulted in scoring discrepancies for particular questions or sections.

Please note that all question response data (the actual answers to the module questions) is correct across all exports; this is solely a scoring issue that affects certain modules and specific sections of the module.

What you need to know:

  1. We will deploy an updated version of the Higg FEM Excel export to by the end of October that will run the corrected scoring calculations within the excel file (single module only). Once this updated version of the excel is ready we will send an email announcement to all users to notify them that it is available.
  2. Our tech team will deploy the corrected scoring calculations into the updated platform after the November 8 launch and apply this retroactively to all 2017 Higg FEM assessments in the system by the end of November. You will then be able to re-run your bulk exports (.csv export) for 2017 data with the corrected scoring.
  3. To ensure data accuracy and to not misrepresent facility module performance, we will postpone deploying 2017 Higg FEM benchmarking until scoring is updated in the updated platform. We anticipate releasing data benchmarking in December.

Our technology team is committed to thoroughly testing scoring before 2018 module scoring launches to ensure these issues are resolved quickly. Thank you for your patience as we implement these updates.

Next Steps

Please review the outline below to confirm whether these errors apply to your Higg FEM assessment. If your facility identifies scoring errors, please contact our technical support team

Below, see the list of questions with scoring discrepancies. They are listed according to reference ID. Review the Higg FEM Reference ID Guide here.

 Carefully review the Higg FEM Scoring Systems guide for a complete and accurate review of question, level, and section scoring.

 Scoring Discrepancies


  • If a question has a score of 0 in Level 1, but you also see scores for Level 2-3 questions within the same section, please review the question response to the Level 1 question. The question should have earned points (in most cases this should be a “Yes” or “Partial Yes” response) but in error may not be showing those points for this question. 


  • Each EMS Level 2 question (questions 7 and 8) is worth 25 points each. Each EMS Level 3 question (Questions 9-12) should receive 6.25 points each.


  • Please confirm that if partial or full points were scored for Level 1 tracking questions in Energy, Water, and Waste sections (score_ensourcestrack, score_watsources, score_wstsourcenh, and score_wstsourceh) that the facility has fully entered all quantity, unit, and tracking information for the reported sources. If all tracking information is not entered for a source, the source will not earn points. If there is incomplete or no tracking information for all reported sources, this should equate to a score of 0 for these questions.
  • In the .csv export, facilities that scored 25 or 12.5 points in Water Level 1 (score.water_use.level1) and have “Null” in Level 2 and 3 (score.water_use.level2 and score.water_use.level3) the calculation for total water score (score.water_use.score) should be 100 or 50 respectively. (“Null” in Level 2-3 indicates that only Level 1 is applicable and should be normalized out of 100 points).


  • Certain questions in Wastewater Level 1 that are not be applicable are showing a score of 0 instead of “null.” Please review the facility’s applicability selections to confirm whether the question is applicable. This does not affect the Level 1 or total section score. This issue has been identified for the following questions:
    • score_wwtrackind (question 1)
    • score_wwtrackcomb (question 3)
    • score_wwoffsitetreatplant (question 5)
    • score_wwemergplan (question 6)
    • score_wwnhsludgedisposal (question 8)
    • score_wwsepticwater (question 9)
  • Facilities that report ZDHC Wastewater Guideline levels for score_wwguidelines (question 4) received incorrect scores. If a factory selected ZLD or Domestic wastewater applicability pathways, the maximum score for question 4 is 50 points. For all Industrial wastewater applicability pathways, the maximum score for question 4 is 12.5 points. A score higher than 50 points indicates achievement of ZDHC Progressive or Aspirational levels. These points are erroneously applied to Level 1 instead of Level 2 and Level 3, making Level 1 and total wastewater scores appear higher than they are. Review the answer to question wwstandardlevel to confirm the accurate response.
  • In the .csv, the score for score_wwtrackdom (question 2) is not showing for facilities that selected industrial wastewater applicabilities. Review question wwtrackdom for the question response.

Air Emissions

  • Certain questions in Air Emissions Level 1 that may not be applicable erroneously show a score of 0 instead of “null”. Please review the facility’s applicability selections to confirm whether the question is applicable. This does not affect the Level 1 or total section score. The issue has been identified for the following questions:
    • score_airsourceopstrack
    • score_airsourceprodtrack
    • score_airsourcerefrignew
    • score_aircontroldevprodhtml
  • The total score for score_airbeyondpermit (question 6) for facilities that selected “Aspirational” for this question incorrectly indicates 62.5 points. The maximum score for score_airbeyondpermit is 50 points. The additional 12.5 points for facilities that selected “Aspirational” should be applied to the Level 3 score. This may make Level 2 scores appear higher and Level 3 scores appear lower than they are. This does not affect the total section score.

Higg FEM Question Reference IDs:

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